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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for December 28

Julian Edlow gives his top lineup advice at each position for Monday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET.

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

It was a unique week with the NBA opening up just before Christmas. Now that we’re starting to settle into a schedule, the slates become a little more balanced. Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings for Monday’s 5-game slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $700K Monday Shootaround [$150K to 1st]

Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Trae Young, ATL vs. DET ($9,500)

Young is off to a scorching start to the season, scoring 73 points in just 61 minutes. While Atlanta added pieces this offseason, it's still getting healthy. Look for Young to continue putting together 50-plus DKFP games, especially matched up against the dumpster fire Pistons.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Delon Wright, DET at ATL ($4,600)

While Detroit flat out stinks, it does have great fantasy value, particularly when trying to keep pace with the Hawks. With Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose both resting, you can look to almost anyone in the rotation to see a larger role. Wright is coming off a 42-minute, 35-DKFP game in double overtime against the Cavs. The numbers are a little inflated, but Wright should see plenty of minutes and opportunities, playing from behind in a paced-up game.

Lineup Strategy

Killian Hayes ($4,200) will be a very hot name on this slate. While he does have to see his role boosted in Rose’s absence, just beware how awful the rookie has been so far — 20 DKFP in 41 minutes through two games. He’ll be heavily owned in cash, but he’s probably the fifth Piston I’d want to roster. Kyrie Irving ($9,000) is another stud to consider with Kevin Durant out for the second night of the back-to-back.

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: James Harden, HOU at DEN ($11,200)

Harden is a free square in cash and single entries. Houston is a mess to start the season, somehow losing by just two to Portland while a chunk of the roster is out due to COVID protocols. No John Wall, Eric Gordon and DeMarcus Cousins means a whole lot of Harden, whether he wants to be in Houston or not. Harden posted a 44-17-4 line in 43 minutes in the opener, so no overthinking here — just lock him in.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Grayson Allen, MEM at BKN ($3,800)

Allen has been the Grizzlies’ starting SG this season, averaging 28 minutes and 18.75 DKFP per game thus far. While the production hasn’t been there yet, the opportunities have been. Allen is just 4-of-13 from the field this season and should be able to up his contributions sooner rather than later. Facing a Nets team that’s down a couple of starters on the second night of a back-to-back feels like a good breakout spot.

Lineup Strategy

Harden will be very heavily owned, so not much strategy goes into the position. Dillon Brooks ($5,500) is a more expensive value option for Memphis if you prefer. Brooks has been more productive this season, so you’re getting more of a sure thing if you have the salary.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Caris LeVert, BKN vs. MEM ($6,600)

Awful news for the Nets on Monday morning with Spencer Dinwiddie getting ruled out for the season with a partially torn ACL. With KD out, a much larger role opens for LeVert, who should be a starter for the rest of the season now. LeVert’s game log has been all over the place, but we’ve already seen the 45-DKFP ceiling, and he’s only averaging 23 minutes per game. His role in the rotation is about to be expanded, so look for more consistency moving forward, starting with Memphis on Monday.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Derrick Jones Jr., POR at LAL ($4,000)

Jones played 36 minutes in Portland’s last game, and now Carmelo Anthony will miss some time for COVID protocols. While Jones is averaging just 17 DKFP in the early going, he seems to have a larger role than expected and could be a value often this week if ‘Melo is forced to miss a few games.

Lineup Strategy

You can always play LeBron James ($10,000), but I think there are better places to pay up on this slate. I’m taking a balanced approach, and think LeVert is about the highest I’d spend up. The Pistons offer more good value in Jerami Grant ($5,900) and Josh Jackson ($4,200).

Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Anthony Davis, LAL vs. POR ($10,100)

This is probably another position to balance your lineup, but if you do pay up, AD should return after having Sunday night off. Every other play I’d look to is under $6,000, so this is just a spot to pay up by default. Portland has been terrible defensively to start the season.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Jerami Grant, DET at ATL ($5,900)

I mentioned Grant as a SF, as well, but PF is an even weaker position, so I’d prefer to roster him here. Grant has played at least 31 minutes in each of his first two games with Detroit, and the role can only grow without Rose and Griffin. Grant went off for 52.5 DKFP against the Cavs, and the matchup against Atlanta brings more upside.

Lineup Strategy

Kyle Anderson ($5,100) is another option for the balanced build here. He’s coming off a 45.5 DKFP outing against the Hawks, and the Nets aren’t in a great spot on this slate. Either way, you’ll want to keep it pretty cheap at PF.


Worth Paying Up For: Christian Wood, HOU at DEN ($7,200)

Like Harden, Wood is nearly impossible to fade on this slate. The matchup against Denver is meaningless, Wood is the only other viable option Houston has right now. He posted a 31-13-3 line in 44 minutes in his debut for the Rockets, good for 53.75 DKFP. Lock him in.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Mason Plumlee, DET at ATL ($5,700)

More Pistons value. We just can’t avoid it with the combination of injury report and matchup. Through two games with the Pistons, Plumlee is averaging over 31 DKFP in 32 minutes per game. The ceiling gets only higher in this spot. I think rostering three Pistons on this slate is no issue.

Lineup Strategy

Wood was the name I have to write up at center, but I have to make mention to Nikola Jokic ($9,800). The Joker is averaging over 63 DKFP in the early going, and Houston doesn’t have the size to slow him down. After Harden and Wood, Jokic ranks just ahead of Young as my third-favorite play on this slate.

Injury Report


John Wall (quarantine)
DeMarcus Cousins (quarantine)
Eric Gordon (quarantine)
Spencer Dinwiddie (ACL)
Blake Griffin (rest)
Derrick Rose (rest)
Carmelo Anthony (protocol)
Ben McLemore (illness)
JaMychal Green (calf)
Kris Dunn (knee)
De’Anthony Melton (protocol)
Tony Snell (foot)


Anthony Davis (rest — expected to return)
LeBron James (rest — played Sunday)
Kevin Durant (rest — played Sunday)
Danilo Gallinari (foot)
Trevor Ariza (personal)
Jahlil Okafor (ankle)
Alex Caruso (hand)




Clint Capela (Achilles)
Sekou Doumbouya (foot)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $700K Monday Shootaround [$150K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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